Why Study in the UK? Top 10 Reasons for International Students

If you are looking to study abroad and wondering – why study in UK, then here are all the reasons for you to know.

Home to some of the top universities in the world dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries, the UK has always played a major role in the global ed-scape. Today, nearly 1/5th of its student population is made up of international students. It is a world leader in art, education, science, medicine, law, business management and the humanities.

What are the top 10 reasons to study in the UK as an international student?

Why should you choose the UK as opposed to, say, the US an international student? What makes it stand apart from other global destinations for higher education like Canada or Australia? What makes the UK special?

In the following section, we will delve into the different reasons why you should study in the UK.

1. Academic Excellence and global recognition

When talking about UK education, the names Oxford and Cambridge almost immediately ring in our heads. These UK universities have been pioneers of academic excellence and global study destination for about 9 centuries now.

But, that is not all. UK universities extend far beyond that. You also have Imperial College London, University of Edinburgh, University of Manchester (there are other great institutions in Manchester apart from the University of Manchester), King’s College and the London School of Economics which are also world-class universities that accept international students. These aside, there are many more universities that may not rank in the top ten, but are superb places to study, especially if the course they offer aligns with your interest. You should dig deep and look at courses in the most of the UK universities to know if it’s the right fit for you.

According to QS University Rankings 2023, 17 out of the top 100 universities in the world are located in the UK. This makes the UK one of the most favored study destinations for global ed students. UK universities are also the pioneers of the tutorial system that ensures that each student gets the attention and the space to present his/ her ideas.

High academic standards, innovative teaching methods, and global recognition are just some of the criteria that make it so. The UK’s role in global politics, the history of the Commonwealth, its emphasis on R & D, and its commitment to academic rigor gives UK degrees the global recognition it deserves. In case you’re looking for shorter programmes, it may be a good idea to explore UK’s 1 year master’s programs.

2. High Employability rates and opportunities

According to QS rankings on graduate employability, 14 out of the top 100 universities with the highest employability rates in the world are located in the United Kingdom. The nation is on the lookout for skilled workers, especially in the fields of software engineering, aerospace engineering, healthcare workers, marketing and PR, and data analysis. As an English language nation, you also do not have the problems of language barriers.

The Graduate Immigration Route allows international students to remain in the country for a period of two years after completion of their bachelor’s or master’s degree (three years in the case of a doctoral degree) to look for employment in the UK. This was not possible under the earlier Tier 4 UK student visa. On the completion of the two-year period, you can then apply for any of the permanent work permits through the graduate route.

Read more about the Graduate Immigration Route here.

3. Research intensive education

Did you know that of all the Nobel laureates in the world, 137 of them come from the UK? The United Kingdom has the second-highest number of Nobel Prize winners, following the USA.

This goes to show the kind of emphasis UK universities place of research. One of the leading countries in the world for research-centered education, universities in the UK have state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure to conduct life-changing research across disciplines ranging from medicine and engineering all the way to humanities and the social sciences. It is also possible to receive funding, from the university, the government, or an independent organization, for the research.

4. Checks and Balances

Another reason why the UK thrives as a global study destination is because of its education system. In order to maintain global standards and academic excellence, universities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland go through the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). The QAA is an independent charitable organization that regularly assesses the standards of each course offered by the universities. In addition, the QAA also researches and suggests improved education and learning practices and shares areas of improvisation. This ensures that the university or a particular faculty does not remain stagnant but continues to push itself beyond the existing borders.

Similarly, for international students, the application process has also been centralized through the platform called UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

5. Flexibility and better time management

Just like the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any other global study destination, the universities in the UK also give options to its applicants to choose between a full-time or a part-time course structure. This gives you the freedom to balance your education, work, or any other co-curricular pursuits.

Moreover, most educational institutions in the UK allow students to build their own courses, as long as the timetable is not clashing. It means you get to choose courses across disciplines and graduate with an interdisciplinary major, carving a niche for yourself.

This is particularly advantageous in today’s world as it gives you the scope to learn both academic and vocational subjects. Having vocational or technical skills noticeably improves your work opportunities in the job market.

The unique advantage of studying in the UK is that their courses are comparatively shorter when compared to the rest of the world. An undergraduate degree is typically 4 years long while a postgraduate degree is typically 2-3 years outside. In the UK, you can complete your bachelor’s degree in 3 years and your master’s in a year or 18 months at the most. This is particularly advantageous to international students, as you get to save on tuition fees, and cost of living and start your job hunt earlier.

6. Work while you study

As an international student, it is prudent to take up some work that will help with your living expenses while in the UK. Immigration policy of the United Kingdom does allow international students to work during the course of their study, provided the following conditions are met:

  • You must be enrolled in and attending classes in one of the UK universities.
  • You must be enrolled in a full-time program. Part-time students are not permitted to work.
  • You must have a valid Tier 4 student visa.
  • You are permitted to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during a study session.
  • You are allowed to take full-time work during vacations and summer break.
  • You must also follow university guidelines, in addition to the governmental ones. Some universities might restrict the number of hours or limit options to those jobs within campus.

These restrictions are in place so that you do not lose focus on your education. And, despite all these rules, you have a lot of job options to choose from, especially if you are in large cities such as London, Manchester or Edinburgh.

7. International student support

It can be overwhelming for an international student to suddenly find themselves immersed in a completely new culture and a way of life. To bridge this gap, there are a ton of UK-based organizations that provide helpful assistance. Some of them are established by the universities themselves. They provide you with checklists and pre-arrival support material, orientations on arrival, academic guidance, housing assistance or internship options.

Moreover, most UK universities have clubs or organizations that allow international students to get a clear picture of the extra-curricular activities that take place on campus. They also have support systems for mental health or any other issue with living in a new country.
Most importantly, along with the fee that you pay for the student visa, you can pay an additional amount called the Immigration Health Surcharge. This will provide you with medical cover under the National Health Services (NHS). You can get free medical treatment while in the UK.

8. Global networking

The British Isles may have shrunk in size during the last century but it continues to remain a hub for world business, technology and culture. This brings people from all over the world to different parts of the UK. In the last two years, over 600,000 international students have been pursuing their higher education in the UK. This, in addition to the tech and business conglomerates who establish their offices there, gives you a great scope to network and build your professional circle on a global scale. Let us also not forget the language skills that you are bound to develop.

While there have been some pieces of news circulating that the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak might restrict the number of international students in the coming years, there has been a lot of pushback that says that international students are irreplaceable and the already shaky British economy will take a harder hit, if they are restricted in the current scenario.

So, as a prospective student, the political climate in the UK is not a major cause of worry at the moment. You focus on your choice of universities and your applications and enjoy the benefits of having completed your higher education in the UK.

9. Affordability

Affordability is a relative term, depending mainly on your country of origin and your social standing. That said, an international student in the UK spends anywhere between £23,000 to £60,000 pounds a year for tuition and living expenses. It depends on your course, the city you live in, and your lifestyle choices. However, what makes the UK more affordable is that the courses are shorter. It allows you to save on tuition and living expenses.

The UK government and the universities also have a number of scholarship options for international students. There is the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Program, which is advantageous to you, especially if you are an Indian student or part of the Commonwealth. You can also look into the Chevening Scholarships, Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarships by Newcastle University, and Rhodes Scholarships to name a few. These scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, IELTS scores, financial need, and the personal essay that you submit as part of the scholarship application.
You can also look into the Turing Scheme, if you wish to go somewhere else abroad, after having completed your course in Britain.

10. Cultural diversity

Due to its colonial past and spreading its roots across the world, the population of the United Kingdom is extremely diverse, made of multiple ethnicities and races. One of the biggest advantages of studying in the UK is that you get to experience not only the white Anglican culture but actually interact with cultures from all over the world, which is an extremely enriching experience that will hone your communication and people skills. The fact is that today employers look for soft skills in prospective candidates, considering how businesses spread beyond the borders of a nation. Studying in the UK will help you with this.

That apart, your life in the UK can also be filled with travel and adventure as you explore the beautiful locales, the different topographies across the four constituent countries, areas that enshrine world history, or its booming pub culture. For an international student, the UK has everything needed to provide a well-rounded experience of living abroad.

How to apply to study in the UK?

Have these reasons cemented your decision to do your higher education in the UK? Then here’s how you go about it. The easiest way is to sign up with TC Global.

We simplify international education, learning, and mobility through connecting students, universities, and a global community on a single platform where there are over 1000+ education providers and over 80,000+ courses.

Our platform enables students to study anywhere in the world in just a few steps. From search and discovery and finding the right course fit for you, to applications, visas and departure – we see you through it all.

To move forward with us, download our app or visit tcglobal.com and sign in to create an account on our student platform and onboard with us in quick, easy steps.! 🚀

Then simply set up a visit Calendly.com/tcglobal to pick a Relationships Team closest to you and choose a slot to meet with a Relationship Member.

Let’s shape your future together.

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